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A special screw was a hindrance to the Mac Pro



An easy-to-buy consumer screw in China supports the Mac Pro build process in Texas, with the story highlighting one of the problems Apple faces if it moves iPhone and Mac back to America. ” height=”439″ class=”lazy” data-original=”https://photos5.appleinsider.com/gallery/29463-47542-Apple-CEO-Tim-Cook-Texas-Mac-Pro-factory-l.jpg” />

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook visits the Austin Manufacturing Plant in Texas in 2014 ” height=”439″ class=”

;lazy” data-original=”https://photos5.appleinsider.com/gallery/29463-47542-Apple-CEO-Tim-Cook-Texas-Mac-Pro-factory-l.jpg” />

Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting the production plant in Austin, Texas in 2014

Apple has announced a commitment to produce Mac Pro in the US in 2012, making it the first Apple product produced in the country for years. While the statement was ambitious, the production of the model has led to limited delivery deliveries, but ultimately delivered to consumers bearing the "Made in the US" engraving instead of the usual "Made in China". The slow start of production clearly led to a lack of supply for a specific type of screw, according to a report from New York Times .

Speaking to three people working on the project, Mac Pro screws were hard to access in the US. Initial production tests were hampered by the limited production levels of the contractor producing a maximum of 1000 screws per day in a 20-person store.

The team behind the Mac Pro requires new parts as the design changes, but although the components can be shipped from China, some items Apple tried to find closer to Texas home. In this case, Mac Pro's associate, Flextronics, hired Caldwell Manufacturing of Lockhard to produce 28,000 screws. While Caldwell was previously able to produce high-capacity screws, the owner and president Stephen Melo have replaced stamping mass-produced presses with versions used for more precise jobs because of China's ability to produce cheaper mass production.

"It's hard to invest in this (Apple-based orders) in the United States because these things are being bought very cheaply abroad," Melo advised.

After all, the new machines were used to create screws, but not the exact versions of Apple. It was also noted that 28,000 screws were delivered to Flextronics in 22 trips, and Melo made some supplies in the Lexus sedan.

A former Apple manager noted Flextronics's relatively small team working on the project, compared to the larger teams in China that overwhelmed the workers. It was unclear why the team was smaller, but it was assumed that the higher wages of American workers were the solution.

Another problem with US production is the lack of 24-hour production, with US workers not working around the clock. In contrast, in China, factories have planned production for all available hours, with workers waking up from their slumber to meet production targets if needed.

Western Reserve University Economics Professor Susan Helper noted that "China is not just cheap," as it is a country where the presence of an authoritarian government means "you can organize 100,000 people to work all night you. " Chinese factories can also find a large number of employees for a short period of time, such as Foxconn's recent commitment to employ more than 50,000 people in all of its Chinese factories in the first quarter.

The assistant suggests that Apple may be able to increase its production in the United States, but that will require significant time and robotic resources and hiring specialist engineers instead of employing a large number of low-paid workers. Job training will also need to be improved by the government and the industry to make it happen.

Despite calls by the Trump Administration for Apple to bring production to the United States, Helper warns that the likelihood of it happening in the current climate is low.


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